Carlisle United v Colchester United – Sky Bet League Two – Brunton Park – Saturday (3pm)
Ray Crawford insisted that Colchester United have made positive steps during the summer and believes the U’s have a genuine opportunity to push on amongst the Sky Bet League Two promotion contenders.
The U’s face a stiff opening day test to the new campaign, heading to Carlisle United. But Crawford thinks his former club is well-equipped for the challenges that lie ahead.
“I think the hierarchy were spooked last season – it was a close call,” he told Yellow Sport.
“It is not a bad thing to see the club going in a different direction. It was too close for comfort. We needed to recruit positively. I think Hayden Mullins has done that.
“Of course, I think the squad as a whole is still a little bit light, but I’d expect to see two or three more come in before the transfer window closes.
“I’m a ‘glass-half-full person. Bringing back Frank Nouble and Freddie Sears is a hugely positive move. As is signing Alan Judge. If we add one or two of the same quality then we can challenge for promotion.”
Crawford continued: Carlisle boss, Chris Beach has shuffled the pack too. Brunton Park has always been a tough place to go, and on the first day of the season when everyone is up for it, the test will be even harder.
“But we are in better shape than last term. We acted to bring in Hayden, Paul Tisdale and subsequently Alex Dyer which suggested to me that the Chairman was concerned. It is now up to them to sell the club positively to the right kings of footballers who are capable of getting us up.”
Ray Crawford’s prediction: Carlisle United 2-2 Colchester United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Carlisle United 1-1 Colchester United